Of ambient art and large calibre handguns

The Linden Endowments for the Arts is hosting a series of 16 “interim” art projects through until the end of January 2013. I’ve already covered a number of them – see the related links at the end of this piece – and here I turn my attention to the installations by Asmita  Duranjaya  and Maikelkey Resident and by Martini Discovolante and Marion Questi.

Tales of the Future  – LEA25

Tales of the Future  - LEA25
Tales of the Future – LEA25

Tales of the future is a joint piece by Asmita  Duranjaya  and Maikelkey Resident which presents “5 immersive environments of 5 ambient études”, together with a live performance space.

Asmita has been immersed in art since her childhood, seeing it s a way to express her emotions and communicate in a non-verbal way. She works in a range of genres, including still-life, portraiture and surrealism, as well as producing applied art such as book covers, event posters, etc. More recently she has become increasingly involved in the medium of digital art using a tablet and pen. Within SL, her work has been presented at a number of venues, and she has her own exhibition space at Space 4 Art, where she exhibits both her own work and the work of other SL artists. At LEA25, she has produced the immersive environments.

Maikelkey is actually the digital persona of German science-fiction author, writer, translator and composer Michael K. Iwoleit. As well as being a published author in his own right, he is the co-founder of the German science-fiction magazine Nova and the international SF magazine InterNova. He has translated works by Iain M. Banks, Cory Doctorow, Sean Williams, Chris Moriarty and David Wingrove, among others. At LEA25, he is responsible for the 5 ambient études.

Tales of the Future – LEA25

Traditionally, an étude is a short instrumental musical composition of considerable complexity designed to help perfect a particular musical skill. It’s a technique that will certainly be well-known to those who have been formally taught the piano, although it is by no means restricted to that particular instrument.  Here, the use of the term is somewhat broader,  the pieces on offer seeking to present a specific atmosphere or mood.

All five of the ambient environments are located in the sky and reached via anywhere door-style teleports located around the edge of the ground-level performance area. Each has a short description of the piece over the door, which will carry you to the environment when clicked. Once there, and with the exception of one of the environments, you’ll be asked to activate the required étude by following a web link. There are interactive elements to some of the environments, so keep an eye out for poseballs and hovertext when visiting them.

Tales of the Future  - LEA25
Tales of the Future – LEA25

The use of web links is perhaps a little less than perfect, at least to me, as they form an intrusion into four the immersive aspects of the build, as the visitor either has to swap between viewer and browser to start the associated étude, or (if using the viewer’s built-in browser), have a floater open which then blocks a fair portion of the in-world view. Both of these points left me wondering why each of the ambient environments couldn’t have been presented within its own parcel, with the étude streamed into it for a more seamless  immersive feel.

The performance area itself sits within a “depression” in the centre of a rocky landscape bathed in a suitably blue sci-fi like light and covered by a blue dome. Anti-grav chairs together with poseballs provide room for the audience to hover (or float) before a  small stage area. The latter will be used for live performances by – I assume  – Maikelkey Resident. The first of these, at 14:00 on Saturday January 19th, will be a reading. The second, at 14:00 on Sunday January 19th, will be a musical presentation.

LEA28 – AetherTrope

AetherTrope - LEA28
AetherTrope – LEA28

And now for something completely different, as they say, and a visit to an installation by Martini Discovolante and Marion Questi of Questi & Discovolante fame, and which brings something of a bang to the world of art. Or rather, the rapid staccato of small arms fire!

AetherTrope is at first a seemingly random collection of art pieces scattered at ground level, and over which can be heard the sound of a man crying. The pieces on display are certainly an electic mix, ranging for huge mechanical skeletal arms and hands through to ornate pieces such as Bunny Tower and Love Flies Home. Some have been combined to form eye-catching works (such as the aforementioned Bunny Tower with one of the huge mechanical arms), others of which stand alone. There is also the “Accidental Museum of Prim Folk Art”, a whimsical piece looking and prim builds and items from SL’s past, including some “adult” items.

AetherTrope - LEA28
AetherTrope – LEA28: Love Flies Home

While exploring the installation, the visitor will come across signs for the Kraken Hunt, together with score lists hovering above them. These are a hint to the “bang” part of the exhibit. Follow the path through the middle of the rgeion to a hand pointing up in the sky. Here you will find two teleports. One is to an observation platform, the second will require that you are a) flying prior to teleporting, and b) armed with a suitable projectile weapon, as it will take you to do battle with the Kraken.

This is (a quite addictive) shoot-’em-up, which requires you fly around trying to kill the aforementioned Kraken – a task which is not as easy as it sounds as a) it take a fair few hits to kill the tentacled buggers; b) they defend themselves with black smoke (and also give off a lot of black smoke when hit, prior to exploding), c) they fight back and – as damage is enabled on the land – can apparently kill you (teleport you home).

AetherTrope - LEA28
AetherTrope – LEA28: The Kraken Awaits …

I say this is actually addictive, as I opted to give it a go for “a couple of minutes” and ended up playing for over half an hour … and then went back for more … Oh, and if you opt to take a break in the observation dome, be warned: these Kraken have little respect for the bystander 🙂 .

So there you have it. Art and guns. Together. So lock, load, and admire! Now, where did I just put my handguns …?

Related Links